Cinnamon Rolls and Crumb-topped Coffee Cake

Baking Date: August 24, 2014

I just hired a new employee who is taking my former job after I was promoted in May. On her first day, we had a standing morning staff meeting. As part of her welcome to the team, I decided to make some breakfast goodies to have at the meeting.

The first thing I wanted to make was cinnamon rolls. I had found a recipe that claims to be a “clone” of Cinnabon®.  Here is the inspiration photo:

Image Copyright © 2014 Kennon & Green Press, LLC,

Image Copyright © 2014 Kennon & Green Press, LLC.

I have to say, these taste delicious and while not an exact clone, they are pretty darn good. I will confess, I didn’t knead the dough as the recipe directs (I forgot!), I just mixed the ingredients and let it rise, kneading it after the first hour of rising. Didn’t seem to effect the taste – it was a hit with the staff, even though they were served cold.

Here is my version:

Cinnabon clones - my version

Cinnabon clones – my version

I also made a New York style crumb-topped coffee cake. Here is the inspiration photo from the site where I got the recipe:

Photo: Copyright 2014, Hugs and Cookies XOXO. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Copyright 2014, Hugs and Cookies XOXO. All Rights Reserved.

So a couple of notes about this recipe. Don’t be alarmed by how thin the batter appears when you transfer it to the 9 x 13 baking dish. I was worried it wouldn’t be thick enough, but it is. Also, I would bake the cake an additional 5 minutes (15 minutes total) before putting the crumb topping on. After 10 minutes the batter was still pretty loose, and as I started to add the crumb topping, it began to sink pretty far into the coffee cake. I found that in order to get the amount of crumb topping like you see in the photo, double the topping recipe.

So here’s what my version looked like (you can see where some of the crumb topping sank into the coffee cake):

Crumb-topped coffee cake still in the pan

Crumb-topped coffee cake cut into squares

This is what my son saw that Sunday evening:

Wait, what do you mean this isn't for us?

Wait, what do you mean these aren’t for us?

He asked who this was for, hoping and anticipating I had made this for the first week of school breakfasts.  I told him it was for my new employee, who was starting work the next day.

He wailed, “why do you torture us by making these amazing things and then give them to other people?”

So I made our family another batch of the Cinnabon(R) clone rolls this weekend – guilt works!

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